Coming down from the hills at the end of the day and heading into the sunlight can provide some remarkable views of the landscape – dependant, of course, on the weather conditions and time of year.
The end of my journey home from Felindre brought me down from the hills towards Pontarddulais in South Wales where there is a vast network of metal giants criss-crossing the land as part of the National Grid.
Electricity pylons seen against the light and the land need not be a blot, but rather a fascinating part of the composition, creating patterns and networks of lines that may not be natural, but are something we are happy to live with in order to have the power we need for modern life.
Still enjoying the short journey home over the hills from Felindre, the local Welsh landscape is beautiful and it’s got nothing to do with the current good weather, honest!
My work over the years has taken me all over South Wales and although this has meant a lot of driving, it has also given me the opportunity to see different aspects of the landscape in all sorts of conditions. Whether it is local or more distant, you have to be there to really appreciate it. Photography can do only so much. Artists can capture moods of a scene with which you can best identify if you have been there or somewhere like it.
I do not describe the photography I do as landscape photography. Although much of it involves the landscape, the photography I do for StillWalks, I describe as environmental – natural and man-made. If you google landscape photography, you will be presented with any amount of spectacular photographs produced by a range of more or less well known photographers who have done all the “right” things in terms of framing the shot and finding the right angle, waiting for the light, etc.
Some of the scenes from around the world (both near and far) are truly amazing . . . yes, there is a but coming . . . but, some of the shots I see seem to me to be almost unreal or super-real, a bit like photo-realism in painting – it’s almost beyond belief. It seems as though there is no texture in the scenes and texture is something I am interested in, no doubt due to my other life as a tapestry weaver. It may be that in these textureless images, there has been some over-use of pixel smoothing techniques but I know of one photographer who does not make this mistake, if it can be called that.
Victor Rakmil is a photographer whose work I greatly admire and he writes an excellent blog much of which I would entirely agree with and learn from regarding technique. Take a look to see the texture that remains in his landscape scenes as well as the other photographic genres he covers.
I took the shots below on my way home over some of the lower lying Welsh hills. It was a hot a hazy day and for me, give a true (photographic) representation of the landscape as it was at that time in those conditions. Tomorrow I’ll have some more!